So, I just finished the first draft of my fourth book, the third in the Edge of Darkness series, and the whole thing’s been rather hilarious.
Not the book itself (or though it might be hilariously bad, that remains to be seen), no the reason it’s been hilarious is because three months ago I sat down to write and I thought: ‘I can’t do this’.
As I faced 400-odd blank pages for the fourth time, my mind was screaming: ‘I have no idea how to do this!’ For about a day other such thoughts floated across my mind as I attempted to write. Then they started again, as I commenced each new chapter.
Who am I to write a book?
I have no formal training in this.
I have no idea where to start.
I don’t even have the story planned out.
I don’t remember how I wrote the three books before this.
Those other books were just a fluke.
I’m a total fraud.
Etc, etc, ad infinitum.
They were the same thoughts as those that plagued me as when I sat down to write my first book. And the second one. And the third.
And that’s when I realized two things:
1) Clearly this is going to happen with every book I write and I shouldn’t let it stop me; and, most importantly,
2) The only difference between people who write books, and people who want to and don’t, is a willingness to ignore the little voice.
How many people have been stopped from writing because of that little voice in their heads?
How many people have a great idea for a book that never gets off the ground because they believe that annoying little voice and don’t bother even getting started?
Screw the little voice! The little voice doesn’t know what it’s talking about! Ignore it!
The little voice is just your fear. It doesn’t know anything that you don’t know. It’s not your ‘intuition’ or your ‘gut’. I’m pretty sure every writer on the planet has that little voice, but the successful ones ignore it and write anyway.
If you can push through the self-doubt and the fear and get some words down on the paper, then you’re well on your way. Making a start is the hardest part.
And check out the first book in the Edge of Darkness series, The Enemy Inside, here.